Ancilla Inc., Success from a Garage

The birth, development and confirmation of one of the first Economy of Communion businesses in the Philippines - despite the crisis

by Teresa Ganzon  

Teresa Ganzon1Tita Puangco, who graduated in economics in the United States, and Renato, her husband, were among the first ones to respond to the invitation of Chiara Lubich to set up companies animated by the desire to live in communion, even to the point of sharing profits with the poor. Both had always had social justice close to their heart and felt that it was time to actually do something. They had to take their three young children into account as well as their little savings available. They made some calculations and, trusting more in the “celestial” than the “earthen” type of aid they decided that Tita would leave her good position of a banking executive to orientate herself towards becoming a business consultant and a university lecturer.

The arrival of three important pieces of advice was crucial. While generously giving birth to her fourth child, Tita decided to create a consulting firm named Ancilla Inc. in their family home's garage, Pag 07 Tita Renato Puangco ridthe name of which means "servant" in Latin, precisely with the objective of “helping” businesses improve their efficiency, based on the values of unity, excellence, sharing, respect for the person, innovation and integrity. After three years Ancilla already had 40 clients, half of them multinationals and half of them local companies. The garage by then was a nice memory because the company had a stylish office in the centre of Manila and another one in Jakarta, with a total of 22 employees.

In 1990 the Asian economic crisis exploded. The company first proposed to cushion the impact of the negative effects on the families of its associates. Instead of expanding, it increased the wages thereby managing to keep the balance of accounts due to the fact that some of the largest customers remained loyal.

Ancilla currently consists of 15 members, it employs 48 professionals and has a portfolio of almost a thousand clients, including the largest companies in the Philippines and the international ones operating there. It is a consultant for large production outsourcing of goods and services and has got assignments from major public and private organizations, Pag 07 Ancilla1 ridincluding the Philippine Association of Pharmaceuticals and Physicians. In terms of sharing, Ancilla is active in providing for food, clothing, shelter and school for the children of many poor families, while a portion of its profits is used for the training of young people in the “culture of giving”.

The challenge of the present is not only economic, but concerns the ethical sphere, too. The owner continues to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, according to which it should be forgiven seventy times seven when consultants prove to be unfaithful, and nothing negative is to be said of competitors who are sometimes incorrect. It is important to stay up to date with new technologies and new forms of counselling worldwide, and know how to compete in an increasingly global market through international collaborations.
Backed by twenty years of EoC experience, facing these challenges, Mrs. Puangco says: ‘If we continue to put the person and the relationships in the centre, God will make us understand what innovations we need to continue to provide quality service in our industry.’

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